Jeep Enthusiast Forums banner
1 - 20 of 400 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Daily Driver 5.9 build thread - lot's of DIY fabbing. Engine build going on..

As some may notice from my signature, I'm building an XJ that has Unimog 404 portal axles, 42" Pitbull Rockers, full cage, etc.. My ZJ is the tow rig and my daily driver so I don't want it to be overly built.

Being a Jeep guy, I can't resist taking my ZJ out on the easier trails sometimes. So it needs to be built so that it can take some rock rash without trashing the body panels. Finally had the time to start building it to better suit my needs for a "sunday wheeler".

I bought the ZJ last July, in absolutely mint condition. Zero rust, ~90k miles, all original. I couldn't keep it like that for too long, so I added 2" budget boost, longer shocks, some fender trimming and 32 x 11.50 BFG KM2s.



I drove it like that for the winter, and wheeled it occasionally..





 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
..until spring came and I had time to start building it :D

First thing to do was to cut out the rockers and weld in box tube rockers. I had some minor rust on the inside of the rockers:



In contrary to my XJ, I used slightly thinner wall box - only time will tell how the hold up. I used 2" x 4" .188" wall box tube. Cut one in hald and welded it to the other two -> end result is 2" x 6" rockers:





 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I then started stripping the front-end, so I can build the front bumper and tube fenders.

Some unnecessary sheetmetal cut off:



Some front uniframe stiffeners - I know they are short. That will be addressed later on this summer :shhh:



Burned them in..



Then to the tube fenders:





Front fender in place for test fit:



Burn in some sheetmetal and you're done.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
..then started on the front bumper. It's a 100% weld-in, non-removable pile of tube and metal plate.

First extended and strengthened the front horn some (2" x 4" box steel, 3/16" wall):



..add a tube in between:



Then started on the new radiator support/ crossbar thingy:



..add some more tube..





..and it's done:



..well, it's not entirely done. I need to add a winchplate on top, and also something to protect the lower part of the A/C condenser and radiator. It's pretty easily damaged that way :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
..finally, the rear bumper. I wanted more room behind the rear wheels, and something stronger to hit when coming down from a high ledge or rock. So I started tearing in to the rear part of the ZJ..





..and out come the 4.5" cut-off wheel, some tube and the bender :D







Add some 1/4" plate:



..add some more 1/4" plate with relief cuts and bend it around the corner..:



..add a little paint and some other stuff and it starts looking like a bumper..:



This is where I'm at right now. I need to have the rear bumper ready by tomorrow night, gotta go wheeling on Sat. morning starting at 10AM :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Rear ended up looking like this, I need to add another tube between the corners and some plating to tie it all in. Other than that, it's ready.

Held up to some beating on the trails pretty damn well, dropped the passenger side rear corner from about 2ft. straight into a rock - not a scratch. Had I had the stock exhaust and rear corners, I would've trashed at least the exhaust and the rear light, propablly something more than that as well :D





Stuffs 32s pretty nicely: :thumbsup:







Came out pretty well IMO.. I'm happy with the end result. I do need to add some skid plates on the belly, I put a big dent on the tranny oil pan. Whoopsie.. :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tubing is mostly 1.75" OD .120" HREW, front cross-tubes are slightly bigger at ~1.9" OD (48mm, metric- standard tubing). Plating is between .120" -> .250" depending on the area. Rear corners are thickest, front tube fender panels are .120 :thumbsup:

As mentioned, I'm gonna add belly and gas tank skids. Probably will also weld tubes to the rockers the protect the doors a little more, and also for the ability to "swing around" rocks using the tubes.

I need to figure out a good way to mount my hitch - living in the EU, it has to be ECE/ e-code approved so I can't fab my own. On the other hand, I do have my old hitch which has the approval plate, I may just pop- rivet that plate to a DIY- hitch so it passes inspection and possible road-side checks by the local police :D


edit: Oh, the stock CAs will have to go. I haven't even been doing any serious wheeling with my ZJ, but both front lowers are bent, and one of the uppers is trashed as well. Looks like I'm starting to develop some DW issues too, which I think is the result from the bent CAs and over-flexed ball-joint end of the stock track bar. Need to address those issues as well. ..and I thought to keep this 100% stock when I bought it :rofl: :nuts:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finally also added side tubes to protect the doors a little better. They stick out from the rockers about three inches, so I should be able to use them as a pivot point in rocks without damaging doors :thumbsup:

I would've loved to do boatsides, but as long as this is my DD this will have to do :)





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,265 Posts
Damn dude, you are on a roll! Those front fenders are exactly what I need to install for a little protection, plus to remain legal. All the tube work looks great. You sure are wheeling your DD pretty hard for not wanting to build it up haha.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks :thumbsup: Yeap, the road legality issue was the reason for fabbing the front tube fenders - and of course protection when wheeling. Local laws here in Finland require the tire tread to be completely covered by fenders, sidewall may stick out.

I actually think the whole outer tubework came out pretty nice. I still need to finish both front and rear bumpers. Also, the more I look at the section at rear doors missing the tube, the more I think I gotta fill that gap with tube :D The problem is, if I do so I gotta hack rear doors and re-weld them :thumbdown:

I haven't been doing anything too serious with the ZJ and intend to keep the body in good shape, but the stock CAs clearly can't take any abuse :laugh: Bending the tranny oil pan was purely my mistake, I sorta forgot I was driving such a low vehicle when going over a rocky section on a trail :shhh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,793 Posts
I love the way this Zj is turning out!!!! :drool:

I'm very jealous!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
if you ran a tube from the rear bumper to the sliders it would strengthen it up a little more.

but nice work man
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,863 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the compliments guys! :thumbsup:

I like the tube fenders. Any chance you'll be tying them in to factory sheetmetal?
The front tube fender sheetmetal is stitch-welded or full-welded to the front wheelwell (depending on the area) all the way, and the bottom part to the a- pillar just in front of hinges. There is also one 1.75" OD tube in the middle going from the tube to the wheelwell close to wear the coil tower is. Third tube support is right below headlights, going from the tube to the front unibody frame stiffeners. I think that should be sufficient, and it feels very solid. I've already hugged a few trees with the fronts and they didn't budge :)

Sweet man, now I know what I want for my birthday.

(A welder so I can try my hand at fabbing stuff, cause this looks sweet.)
Thanks!

Welder would be a nice birthday present :thumbsup: If talking about working on Jeeps, mig-welder and drill press have been the most important tools I've bought so far - along with the tube bender :)
 
1 - 20 of 400 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top